11th Foot Pilgrimage for Sister M. Emilie
On November 21, already at 6:00 a.m., a large group of the Schoenstatt Girls’ Youth from Santa Maria and some Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary gathered at the Tabor Shrine in Santa Maria/RS-Brazil to begin the “11th Foot Pilgrimage for Sister M. Emilie.” Motivated by their ideal, this year the Girls Youth began the foot pilgrimage with prayer and sacrifice. They opened their Jubilee Year: 75 years of Schoenstatt Girls Youth the southern region of Brazil.
At the start at the Tabor Shrine, we offered the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress all our contributions to the capital of grace. We thanked her for every lily in our youth that she educates and inspires so that there will be a blooming garden of lilies. We placed all our petitions and intentions in the “Sister M. Emilie Suitcase.” From her we want to learn to place ourselves and our will at the disposal of God’s plans.
The foot pilgrimage was filled with prayer and with meditation on majestic nature that God put along our way. The youth and the sisters, united in the ideal of purity, shared experiences and felt united as one family, a family in the heart of our father and founder and in the heart of God.
On the very steep stretches of the road we could quietly reflect on what striving for holiness requires of us. When we have a goal, an ideal, we receive strength. It was the same with Sister M. Emilie when she said, I want to become holy, whatever the cost. In our community we received inspiration, and firmly and securely, we walked onward to the heights of the Tabor Shrine “Puer et Pater” [Son and Father] on the mountain in Itaara/Rs (the shrine of the Brothers of Mary).
On the way we were also confronted with the reality of a world far from God. People who were searching and questioning came into contact with us. On our way we could distribute novenas to Sister M. Emilie. Some people asked, “I wonder what these youth and sisters are doing, walking many kilometers early on a Saturday?”
Upon arriving at the shrine in Itaara, we were happy to greet the Blessed Mother in the shrine; she was already waiting for us. At the conclusion of our foot pilgrimage there was a Holy Mass so that, like Sister M. Emilie, we would be strengthened with the Holy Eucharist.
In his homily Father Clécio Almeida, a diocesan priest of the Archdiocese of Santa Maria, said that what we sing in the Hymn of the Brazilian Schoenstatt Girls Youth is really true: to walk the path of holiness in earnest and to make ourselves available “to be Mary.” This high ideal is something for strong wome, and the world is disturbed by it and does not consider it “normal,” especially the striving for purity in this day and age.
We returned strengthened and with new energy, ready to commit ourselves to the mission of being a living reflection of Mary. We returned also to new challenges. But in our being we should reflect the theme we chose for this 11th foot pilgrimage:
With Sister M. Emilie we contemplate: “God calls you to walk the path of holiness.”
We want to give witness to many young people so that they may find a home in the garden of lilies of the Mother Thrice Admirable and Queen.